Mutual Aid is a fact of life throughout public service, including our Nevada Counties. Not one county has ALL the resources it needs 24/7 365 days a year to meet every single requirement. The most precious resource of all is trained personnel ready, willing, and able to immediately meet an emergent need. Ninety-nine percent of these personnel within SAR are volunteers. Every agency needs help eventually.

Lyon County SAR requested Carson City Sheriff’s SAR (CCSSAR) to assist with the rescue of personnel stuck on a previously dirt road that had become miles upon miles of thick mud and ponds. Initial information indicated two vehicles with three people stranded in the same general vicinity. A GPS coordinate was provided for “Vehicle 1”.

Requested early afternoon CCSSAR responded with SAM2 and 3 (Rubicons), and the Chevy Tahoe Command Unit pulling our new tracked Side-by-Side “SAM1”. The highlights to this point: Wheeled vehicles had already proven ineffective, we had zero experience with SAM1 in the conditions presented, we had no GPS point for Vehicle 2, the stranded parties had been out overnight, we were running out of daylight. Enter Mutual Aid request number two; Washoe County Sheriff’s RAVEN helicopter.

With RAVEN 3 prepping for departure the team set out for Vehicle 1. SAM1 shed its wheeled escorts after a couple miles and proceeded across the bogs, ponds, and trenches a total of five miles to Vehicle 1 finding the stranded couple in good spirits after a cold night. Providing food and a promise to return, SAM1 pressed on in search of Vehicle 2. After proceeding another mile without success, SAM1 turned back while contacting Washoe SAR making a specific request to locate the second vehicle South of Vehicle 1’s GPS point (Vehicle 2’s GPS point was obtained later)

Upon return to pavement with the stranded couple, Washoe SAR passed that RAVEN 3 had the party from Vehicle 2, located three miles from Vehicle 1, in-hand and was requesting a GPS point for delivery. SAM2 and 3 prepared to close the highway while radio communication with RAVEN 3 was established to provide hazards in the area and wind direction. The rest as “they” say, is history.

Many thanks to all involved: Lyon County SAR, Carson City and Washoe County Dispatch, the good Samaritans who attempted a rescue, Washoe SAR, RAVEN 3, CCSSAR, and Carson City Public Works Fleet Maintenance for assisting with the removal of about 200 pounds of mud from SAM1. All the equipment is cleaned up and ready to go. We didn’t waste any time taking the new car smell and shine off of our new tracked Side-by-Side, SAM1.

The End. We figure this will get a tarp at least next time. Lessons learned.